''Lost'': Sawyer's vulnerable heart
And Con Man takes one on the chin....And another....And a kick to the gut...and he's down again....Was that not the messiest, bloodiest Lost yet? I'm not what you'd call a fan of physical violence. But I loved-loved-loved this episode, down to the very last punch. Take that, Linus, yeah!
I'm sold on the adrenaline-rush direction the show has taken (giant needle to the sternum, anyone?), but I'd never stay this addicted if we all weren't regularly marched up to the top of Cliffhanger Cliff where...what the...
There are TWO islands?
Well, fake me out and call me flabbergasted. Of course, the clues were there all along. Last season, the Pearl Station orientation film named a mysterious Pala Ferry. And sure enough, Kate, Sawyer, and Jack were taken to the ferry's pier in order to be whisked off the island. Then, early in this episode, Ben told Juliet, ''The sub is back,'' but I was too preoccupied with my new theory that they're siblings! to see the jungle for the trees. I'd always pictured the Others tooling around the castaways' ''beloved island,'' as Ben called it, docking at secret coves, but clearly, more extensive commuting has been going on. How long till we see that submarine?
Expect Locke and his rescue team to do a double take if they ever learn that Jack, Kate, and Sawyer are imprisoned on another island. Unless large-scale invisible-cloaking technology is at work (never say never), the new island, about half a square mile in size by Ben's estimate (Alcatraz times two), is remarkably well-hidden, tucked behind the larger island in a way that the Oceanic survivors have never seen it. This may explain why, two episodes ago, Ben urgently ordered Colleen to stop Sayid's expedition but recall Juliet's casual comment, ''So they have a boat? Sailing in circles'll keep them busy.'' Did she want Hydra Island discovered? It may be she wants out of Othersville altogether.
Which island is home to Othersville? My replay of season 3's premiere leaves it open to interpretation, depending on whether you think the aerial shot depicts one big island with the Oceanic crashes in the background or two different land masses. Perhaps Hydra Island was unoccupied until Ben mobilized his crew and incorporated Hydra's cages and surveillance into his plan. Perhaps at the construction site where Kate and Sawyer worked, the Others weren't playacting but actually breaking ground on some kind of Chunnel. Locke's polar-bear cave might itself be the opening of an underwater tunnel; that's one explanation for how bears would get from Dharma Zoo to Beloved Island. (Another: Polar bears swim.)
On to Ben's dramatics. Which I adore. After rolling up his sleeves to beat Sawyer bloody in the bear cage, Ben strapped him down and sicced two Pulp Fiction fans on him (one wielding a super-scary needle), then rattled the cage of a cute bunny (branded with an 8). Next he told Sawyer they had implanted a pacemaker that would cause his heart to explode if his pulse quickened. (Wisely, Ben aborted the preposterously awesome ruse. The giveaways included Sawyer's surviving a glimpse of topless Kate, a beat-down from Danny, and a taxing hike uphill. Moreover, once Jack was rushed out of his cell to operate on Colleen, we learned the Others had no surgeons among their flock. Certainly, amateurs don't do cardiac implants.) Ben knew Sawyer was pining for Kate, and threatened her if Sawyer confided in her effectively ending their cross-cage conspiring all before unveiling that breathtaking vista at episode's end. Will Sawyer give up hope? As I said, the man's in love. The look on his face when Kate claimed that she only said she loved him so that Danny would stop hitting him was unforgettable. If the Others are trying to get those two to mate, they still have their work cut out for them.
Sawyer's been locked up and in love before. We discovered, via terrific flashbacks, that he's also a daddy. The baby's name is Clementine Phillips, unless her mother, Cassidy, the con victim who pressed charges and sent him to prison, is working another con. When Sawyer earned a reward from the feds for helping them recover money another inmate had stolen, he sent it anonymously to a bank account for little Clem, either as a loving gesture for his child or to pay back Cassidy. I believe Sawyer the Cynical Smart-Ass is fundamentally an optimist and believes the daughter is real.
Jack is fundamentally a fighter, and he did to Juliet what Ben did to Locke last season. Not much fun, is it, Dr. Fertility, having a newcomer detect a power imbalance and question why you take orders from someone who should be your equal? Like Locke, Juliet was visibly stung. She couldn't back up her claim that she and Ben make decisions together because Ben entered and commanded her to follow him. Next time Juliet brings pancakes during Jack's cartoons, you know he'll be pushing that button. (First, though, he wants to know whose spinal tumor he saw on an X-ray before he operated on doomed Colleen. Best guess: Ben's. Evidence against: Ben's cage-fighting skills.)
Ready for a wild speculation? Many suspect Ben and Juliet shared a romantic past. My hunch, mentioned above, is that they're brother and sister. Twins, in fact! Offspring of the DeGroots, let's say. I'm not as clairvoyant as Desmond, but I detect sibling rivalry. What if Ben grew up on the island and stayed but Juliet left to get her medical degree? Maybe he was closer to Mom and Dad, she tasted ''real world'' freedom, mutual jealousy developed....The key to what brought her back to her brother's turf could lie in the mystery of what happened to the whole Dharma Initiative. Perhaps Bad Twin, the goofy novel published last year, was in its title alone a major clue: The island has a twin, the plane broke in two, Dharma stations were staffed by pairs, two orientation films were narrated by look-alikes with different names (twin brothers?), and we've encountered two polar bears. Of Mice and Men, heavily referenced this episode, follows two men who share a brotherly relationship. (Ben and Danny must be Lost's George and Lenny.) Heck, hoss, I predict Sun will have twins!
Let's not forget Desmond the Prophet. His new benevolence is refreshing, and I like seeing the castaways discover his gift. Still need to know how he escaped the Hatch, but I have faith the answer's coming.
What do you think? Can Locke lead a rescue to a whole new island? Is Juliet cracking up? Why do the Others need a fertility doctor? Will Sawyer be hurt by Kate? And will we see Ben's bunny again?